The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 23, 2006

President Bush Meets with Small Business Owners and Community Bankers
Urban Trust Bank
Washington, D.C.

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Jobs & Economy

2:01 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank Bob Johnson and Dwight Bush for hosting this meeting here at the Urban Trust Bank. I also want to thank Tim and Tony and Kathy for joining us. These are local entrepreneurs who are living the American Dream, which is, they've started their own businesses; they're growing their own businesses; they are hoping to expand and hire more people.

One of the great things about America is that somebody can start with nothing and end up with something when it comes to business. People can have a dream, and they can work hard to achieve that dream. And the role of government, it seems to me, is to make sure that the dreamers are rewarded for their hard work and their ingenuity and success. And the best way to do that is to reduce taxes on people. The more money a entrepreneur has in his or her pocket, the more likely it is he or she will be able to expand that business, which will create jobs.

Government has got to be careful about the regulations it passes. We've got to be careful about the number of lawsuits that threaten these young companies. Government can do well at helping to team up with private corporations to enhance capital flows. But the strength of this economy depends upon the strength of the small business sector.

We've added a lot of jobs since August of 2003, 6.6 million new jobs. And that's a result of small businesses growing and expanding. I was just talking to Tim. He's got 30 employees. That's up from zero five years ago. It's really enlightening and encouraging for me to talk to these hard-working people.

One of the interesting things about our economy that's also important is that as the economy has grown, the real wages for American workers has increased. Last year it increased by 2.2 percent. That's the largest increase in recent years. And that's important, because not only does it mean the small businesses are doing well, it means our working families are doing well.

And so I want to thank you, Bob, for letting me come by. Congratulations on the example you've set.

MR. JOHNSON: My pleasure, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate you very much.

MR. JOHNSON: Thank you, Mr. President.


END 2:04 P.M. EDT

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